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Friday, 15 May 2015 14:20

How to create retail excitement

How to create retail excitement by ASHLEY LUTZ AND MELIA ROBINSON (BI)


 

Pirch, a high-end home store, is making shopping for the most mundane items a beautiful and interactive experience. 

The average person stays in Pirch for two hours testing items like sinks, ovens, tubs, and toilets.

 

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Friday, 15 May 2015 14:02

How to make a great second impression

How to make a great second impression by Heidi Grant Halvorson  (HBR)   

Years ago a friend of mine, Gordon, interviewed for a position at a prominent university. During his daylong visit to campus, he had lunch with a senior faculty member (let’s call him Bob) who had final say over the hire. After their food arrived, Bob said of his meal, “You know, this is great. You should try this.” Even though Gordon knew it was a dish he wouldn’t like, he felt pressured to have a bite so as not to offend his potential future boss. The lunch continued pleasantly, with Gordon enumerating his accomplishments and Bob responding positively. Gordon was therefore more than a little surprised when he didn’t get the job.

He learned why a few years later, after he’d been hired for a different position at the same university. Apparently, when Bob had said “You should try this,” he had actually meant something like “You should try this sometime” or “My lunch is excellent,” and he was deeply disturbed that a job candidate would have the audacity to eat right from his plate. He had no desire to work with someone so disrespectful and ill-mannered.

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Friday, 15 May 2015 13:36

Jumpstart Your business

Jumpstart Your business by R “Ray” Wang (HBR)
blog 2 jumpstart

The punishing forces of quarter-to-quarter performance expectations have forced business leaders to scramble for short-term profit gains at the long-term expense of the organization.  Because of those short-term bets and strategic pivots, organizations are struggling to meet ever-changing customer needs, are challenged to drive margins, and find themselves vulnerable to non-traditional competitors and unattractive to potential employees.  This confluence of forces has led 52% of the Fortune 500 to be acquired, merged, go bankrupt, or fall off the list since 2000.

Business leaders aren’t oblivious to this. We know it.  We feel it.  We all wonder why we insanely continue to do the same thing.

So what’s the problem? Why do we have such a hard time spurring more rapid growth?

First, look at how your organization allocates time and money to its various priorities. Most organizations follow what I call the business hierarchy of needs.  Like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs for individuals, with safety and physiological needs (food, water, shelter)  at the base and ego at the top, the business hierarchy of needs has five stages.

Let’s look at each stage, from top to bottom.

Brand: priorities focused on expanding the image and appeal of an organization’s outside perception including building connectedness.

Strategic differentiation: priorities that create game changing transformation or business model disruptions including the adoption of newer social enterprise apps or connected business solutions.

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Friday, 15 May 2015 13:25

Leading your employees

Leading Your Emlpyees by Christine Porath (HBR)

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For the last 20 years, I’ve studied the costs of incivility, as well as the benefits of civility. Across the board, I’ve found that civility pays. It enhances your influence and performance — and is positively associated with being perceived as a leader.

Being respectful doesn’t just benefit you, though; it benefits everyone around you. In a study of nearly 20,000 employees around the world (conducted with HBR), I found that when it comes to garnering commitment and engagement from employees, there’s one thing that leaders need to demonstrate: respect. No other leadership behavior had a bigger effect on employees across the outcomes we measured. Being treated with respect was more important to employees than recognition and appreciation, communicating an inspiring vision, providing useful feedback — or even opportunities for learning, growth, and development. However, even when leaders know that showing respect is critical, many struggle to demonstrate it. If you’re one of those leaders, consider the following steps:

Ask for focused feedback on your best behaviors. This technique, originated by researcher Laura Roberts and colleagues, will help you see your most respectful self. Collect feedback via email from about 10 people (coworkers, friends, family). Ask each for positive examples of your best behavior. When and how have they seen you treat people well? After compiling the feedback, try to organize the data by summarizing and categorizing it into themes. For example, create a table with columns for commonality, examples (of the behavior), and your thoughts. You might also use Wordle.net to identify themes (you’ll also get a colorful picture that can serve as a reminder of you at your best, most civil self). Then, look for patterns. When, where, how, with whom are you at your best? Use your insights to reinforce what you’re doing well. Be mindful of additional opportunities to be your best civil self. Leverage your interpersonal strengths.

Discover your shortcomings. Gather candid feedback from your colleagues and friends not only on what you’re doing that conveys respect, but also on how you can improve. Specifically, what are your shortcomings? Identify a couple of trusted colleagues who have the best intentions for you and your organization. These are folks who you believe will provide direct and honest feedback. Ask for their views about how you treat other people. What do you do well? What could you do better? Listen carefully.

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